Posted by Richard Adams
Was the word "liberty" spoken in tonight’s debate?
I would like to add one observation somewhat along these lines. Did Obama even once mention any nation at all that he approved of as a democracy and would like to work with, even "persuade"? All I have been hearing from him is making other nations do what he thinks must be done, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, obviously Iraq, etc. Perhaps Iran -- our most dangerous enemy -- is the only exception. Obama and his party, I have noticed, are in practice a neo-imperialist party, constantly arguing for forcing our supposed allies and friends to do our will. McCain's argument really is strategic, realistic, and different enough to recognize the need to work with, i.e. persuade, others.
Ahh . . . but dennis, don't you see? Obama's approach to foreign relations (i.e., bullying our friends) is exactly the same as his approach to governing American citizens. Obama and his associates really believe that they have it all figured out. Persuasion in the sense you mean it--both here and abroad--is a waste of time to them. In their minds, they have done all the hard work by going to the right schools and hammering out all the right ideas with all the right people. People who just "don't get it" merit dismissive contempt (e.g., they cling to God and their guns) and they need to be forced to get on board or, failing that, they need to forced to get out of the way. Obama & Co. will only go so far in "persuasion" as to insist that people put all their trust, blindly, into them and their experts or--if that doesn't work--they will try and persuade people that they are too stupid to govern their own affairs and, besides, they should be fearful of all the powerful interests aligned against them. They need government's protection! Obama doesn't have to explain how his plans will work--or even why they are just--he only has to argue that what preceded him was an unmitigated failure (because, after all, Bush and Cheney are evil), that such failure is unacceptable, and that if you follow him you will get the magic bullet: change. Change will bring with it this change too: if you fail to live in the way the Obamatons deem desirable or in keeping with their plans to maximize the efficiency of their efforts at "forcing the spring" at home or in world affairs, you will pay a price.
So, no. For Obama, there is no respect for the political limits that come from the autonomy of free thinking fellow citizens or allies. Citizens and allies will be free only to agree with him. Beyond that, I believe that you will see a harder (possibly even petulant) side of him. If he does, in fact, carry the day and win the election, it will be interesting to see how long he can keep this harder edge concealed beneath his whimsical calls for change and his cheerful promises of hope. It will be interesting to watch how long he keeps his "cool." I predict that it will not be for long. And then it will be interesting to see how this harder edge is received by those who were willing to put their hope in change. I do not believe that the American people are so far gone as to take to it kindly. If he wins, he will find that there is also a harder edge to the American backbone than he bargained. He fails to persuade at his own peril.
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